Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit (MSU) Port Arthur is responding to a marine casualty on the Sabine-Neches waterway involving a barge under tow, which became unstable and dumped its cargo of rock into the water. The Coast Guard received a notice that the towing vessel Kacie Luhr, pushing four rock barges, was taking on water and one of the rock barges had dumped about 1,650 tons of rock into the navigation channel. Coast Guard smallboats transported all six crewmembers from the towing vessel safely to a nearby tug. The Kacie Luhr and two of its barges remain partially in the waterway. Coast Guard investigators conducted an initial survey of the towing vessel and the two damaged barges, while the two rock barges that were completely unaffected by the incident were disconnected from the tow. The local Army Corps of Engineers Office has aided and successfully located the channel blockage with a sonar scan. In addition, local salvage team T&T Marine is currently on scene getting ready to safely remove the damaged vessels. A broadcast notice to mariners was issued yesterday and a safety zone is in effect to keep all vessel traffic a safe distance from the incident. The waterway is currently closed to deep-draft traffic but open to most towing vessels and small boats.
A & B Industries of Morgan City, La., delivered Bill G, a 76 x 26 ft. model-bow tug to Luhr Bros. Contractor of Columbia, Ill. Bill G will provide service for Luhr Bros. in its construction operations on Lake Michigan. Several special features were required to work in the area due to low bridge clearance and high water conditions. For example, the pilothouse roof is designed to fold down, and both the mast and radar base were designed to meet these requirements
A&B Industries, of Morgan City, La., has signed a contract with Luhr Bros., Columbia, Ill., for a 76-ft. model bow tug for service in the Great Lakes as a switch tug and general operations vessel. The tug will be powered by twin Caterpillar 3508B main engines producing 1,710 hp. Since the tug will be involved in operations in low bridge clearance areas, its superstructure and mast were modified to a low profile to meet a 19 ft. air gap clearance
Joseph E. LeBlanc Jr. passed away on June 27, 2014. He was 87 years old. Joe was president of Three Rivers Rock Quarry in Smithland, Ky. (a division of Harbert Construction), Three Rivers Towing, Harcon Barge Lines and Louisiana Limestone during the late 60s and 70s. He also worked later for Luhr Brothers at their St. Genevieve, Mo. Facility and was General Manager for Boyce Machinery in Morgan City, La. for a few years and also worked as a consultant and for NREC in Houma after he retired
At press time, U.S. Coast Guard from Marine Safety Office (MSO) St. Louis investigators were trying to determine the cause of the sinking of the towing vessel Patty Ann, while the Missouri Highway Patrol searched the Mississippi River for Patty Ann's operator, John Distefano. The boat sank at about 11:50 p.m. on Feb. 27 at mile marker 127.2, at the Tower Rock Stone Fleet, on the Upper Mississippi River, approximately three miles north of Ste. Genevieve, Mo.
The LST-325 (Landing Ship, Tank), a World War II amphibious vessel designed to land battle-ready tanks, troops and supplies directly onto enemy shores, will once again be plying the waters, but this time, being towed as a floating memorial making a maiden educational voyage on the Mississippi and Ohio rivers this summer. The LST-325 is one of only two World War II LSTs to be preserved in the United States and is crewed solely by veterans